Local Family Collecting Cell Phones For Domestic Violence Victims
LANCASTER, SC- Family and friends of a domestic violence victim murdered earlier this year are hoping to prevent future tragedies by giving victims more access to help.
Jackie Craine would have turned 35 Friday. But instead, the mother of three fell victim to domestic violence and was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in January.
"We're hoping that a lot of women will come forward as soon as they see the signs of it happening. Before it gets as bad as it did with my sister," said Rena Green.
Green says the key to saving the lives of domestic violence victims is getting them access to help. She's joining with family and friends to start a cell phone drive.
"This gives me a chance to help others. I didn't get the chance to help her because I didn't know the signs were that bad," said Green.
Boxes will be placed at 30 drop-off locations throughout the Charlotte area and as far south as Columbia. Family and friends are collecting cell phones from any carrier, in any condition.
The phones will be refurbished and given to domestic violence and law enforcement agencies to distribute to their clients.
"If they need to call 9-1-1 or if they need someone to come pick them,” said Erica Simpson, Jackie Crain’s childhood friend.
Simpson says the phones can help victims like Craine whose fear keeps them silent.
"It's not a billable plan where someone who is attacking them can go online and research who they're talking to because these minutes, 3,00 minutes, are already put on each phone," said Simpson.
The family hopes victims will then be just a phone call away from help.
Domestic violence is on the rise in charlotte.
The Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Advisory Board says in 2011, police responded to 393 more calls and made 53 more arrests than in 2010.